| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Italy FM: Belt and Road China deal did not bring expected results

Since Rome joined Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative four years ago, trade between the two countries has not increased as anticipated, according to a statement from Italy’s foreign minister on Saturday.

Despite American objections, Italy under the previous administration in 2019 became the first significant Western country to join China’s infrastructure plan.

“The Silk Road did not bring the results we expected,” Antonio Tajani said at the European House Ambrosetti economic forum shortly before leaving on a trip to China, Reuters reported.

“We will have to evaluate, the parliament will have to decide whether or not to renew our participation.”

Rome is seen as highly unlikely to renew the deal when it expires in March 2024 and has until December to formally withdraw from the accord, which will otherwise be extended for five years.

Tajani said he would leave this afternoon for a three-day diplomatic mission in Beijing. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she was planning to visit China in one of her next trips abroad.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat